It’s draft day.
We’ve already seen 3 massive deals today, and more are sure to come.
Remember Andrew Ference and Dennis Seidenberg? How did the Bruins acquire those guys who were critical to their cup victory? It’s all got to start somewhere. Possibly the biggest trade in NHL history happened on draft day, the Eric Lindros trade of 1992, a deal so large that the final branch of the trade tree died last June when the Coyotes didn’t tender Brandon Gormley a qualifying offer, 23 years after the original deal.
February 1st 2007, a day that will live forever in Bruins history as the day they traded away Milan Jurcina to the Washington Capitals for a 2008 4th round pick. Jurcina was an 8th round pick who played in 91 games for the bruins over 2 seasons, tallying 14 points.
The Caps then traded him to Columbus on December 28, 2009 with Chris Clark for Jason Chimera. They then reacquired Jurcina 3 months later for a conditional 6th which was not exercised, essentially giving them Chimera for Clark and 3 months of Jurcina.
Whatever, Milan Jurcina the human machina was a sweet nickname.
There is a theme to these trade trees: follow the bouncing draft pick. 9 days later on February 10th 2007, Peter Chiarelli pulled off a big one in his rookie season as GM, acquiring Andrew Ference and Chuck Kobasew in exchange for Wayne Primeau, Brad Stuart, and the 4th round pick acquired for Jurcina.
If we want to go back even further, Primeau and Stuart were part of the not so big return the Bruins got for Joe Thornton. Primeau played in parts of 3 season with Calgary with a high of 10 points before he ultimately finished his career in 2010 with Toronto. Stuart was a rental, playing in 25 regular season games and 6 playoff games before signing in LA over the summer. Nothing to write home about. As for the 4th, well that turned into some guy named TJ Brodie, because of course.
Andrew Ference quickly became a fan favorite in Boston. He was an integral part of the Bruins’ 2011 Stanley Cup run, playing top 4 minutes next to Johnny Boychuk. A seemingly average piece at the time turned into a critical member of a Stanley Cup team and a fan favorite. See, Peter Chiarelli wasn’t always bad.
After a bad 2007/08 campaign with both the Bruins and Flames scoring just 19 points in 50 games, Kobasew had back to back 20 goal seasons, and added 6 points in the 2009 playoffs, a year in which the Bruins came in first in the Eastern Conference. Just 7 games into the 2009/10 season, he was traded to the Minnesota Wild for Craig Weller, Alex Fallstrom, and a 2011 second round pick.
Fallstrom never cracked the NHL after a few solid seasons at Harvard and struggled in 3 seasons playing for Providence.
The 2011 2nd turned into Alexander Khokhlachev and this guy had a ride for only 9 NHL games. “Khoko” was nearly dealt to Calgary with Matt Bartkowski at the 2013 trade deadline for Jarome Iginla, but Iginla was dealt to Pittsburgh because of his desire to win the Stanley Cup. Uh, can somebody remind me how that went? Khokhlachev talent was never doubted, scoring 168 points in 186 games. He went pointless in 9 NHL games, his last being the 2016 Winter Classic. Khoko bolted for the KHL last summer and struggled to get regular playing time and scored 10 points in 25 games for an SKA St. Petersburg team that had Ilya Kovalchuk, Vadim Shipachyov, Evgeny Dadonov, Slava Voynov, and Pavel Datsyuk along with the Bruins 2010 7th round pick Maxim Chudinov. The door isn’t shut on the 23 year old’s return to the NHL someday, but at least for now it appears a long shot that Khokhlachev could step in an be an impact player right now.
Craig Weller never played for the Bruins, but was dealt to the Panthers at the 2010 deadline with Byron Bitz and a 2010 second round pick in exchange for Dennis Seidenberg and rights to Matt Bartkowski.
After getting injured prior to the 2010 playoffs and missing the entirety of it, Dennis Seidenberg was an absolute workhouse for the Bruins on the back end. He was the Bruins number two defenseman behind Zdeno Chara, averaging 27:38 TOI per Game (!!!) and had a goal and 10 assists in all 25 playoff games that year. The Bruins needed every bounce and every break they could get to win the cup, and it’s safe to say to say the Bruins don’t win the cup without Seidenberg. Though his Bruins career ended on a sour note after a buyout last summer, he got his career back on track during the World Cup and had a good season with the Islanders, earning and extension for next season.
Bartkowski floated around in the Bruins organization for 5 years, playing in 131 NHL games without recording a goal (somehow) and putting up 24 assist. He did score the forgotten first goal in the Bruins famous 4-1 comeback in the 3rd period of game 7 against the Leafs in 2013.
So to summerize:
Although it was only a simple 4th round pick, it’s cool so see that a simple trade of a depth defenseman by a last place team can lead to 2 critical pieces of a Stanley Cup team. Peter Chiarelli’s building of the 2011 team was masterful, as displayed here even when he was a rookie.
More of these to come…
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